GP training and registration: Who's who

There are a lot of organisations out there who provide support and guidance for GPs. We know it can be a bit confusing trying to work out who you need to talk to for certain things.

That's why we've put together this guide, making it easier to understand which organisation does what. This means you can seek the advice and support you need from the right place.

Standard setting and membership body

Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)

We are the professional membership body for family doctors in the UK and overseas. We are committed to improving patient care, clinical standards and GP training and registration. 

Our purpose is to encourage, foster and maintain the highest possible standards in general medical practice.

Come to us for information on:

  • Your membership community
    • Local faculty support
    • Support throughout your career
    • Wellbeing
    • Shaping the future
    • Membership benefits
  • How to qualify as a GP in the NHS
    • GP specialty training, including the curriculum and exams
    • GP registration for UK and international doctors
  • Professional development
    • Face-to-face events
    • Online learning
    • Publications and resources
    • Revalidation


General Medical Council (GMC)

The GMC helps to protect patients and improve medical education and practice in the UK by setting standards for students and doctors. They support them in achieving and exceeding those standards, and take action when they are not met.  

The GMC: Working with doctors. Working for patients.

Go to the GMC for information on:

  • Full medical and GP registration and licensing 
    • Becoming a doctor in the UK, including CCT and CEGPR 
  • Advice on the various routes to being fully registered and holding a licence to practise, and making an application to join the GP register 
  • Ethical guidance 
  • Medical education standards and quality assurance 
  • Concerns and investigations

Visit the GMC website

Trade union

The British Medical Association (BMA)

The BMA is the trade union and professional body for doctors in the UK.

It represents, supports and negotiates on behalf of all UK doctors and medical students. They are member-run and led, fighting for the best terms and conditions as well as lobbying and campaigning on the issues impacting the medical profession.

Go to the BMA for information on:

  • Pay and contracts
  • Negotiation and representation
  • Complaints
  • Advice and support

Visit the BMA website

GP recruitment hub

The GP National Recruitment Office (GP NRO)

The GP NRO coordinates the recruitment process for GP training programmes in the UK. They help local offices and deaneries deliver a standard, robust recruitment and selection process that’s reliable, valid, and fair.

They also manage induction and returner programmes for those new or returning to NHS general practice.

Go to the GP NRO for information on:

  • Choosing general practice
  • The application process for GP training
    • Person specification
    • Switching to GP training
    • Recruitment data
  • International Induction Programme
  • Returning to NHS practice

Visit GP NRO on the NHSE website

Training body

Statutory Education Bodies (SEBs) in the four devolved nations

The SEBs are education and training bodies responsible for developing and delivering healthcare education and training for the NHS, health and social care and other public bodies. They have a role in undergraduate and postgraduate training, and in continuing professional development.

They support NHS organisations to work in partnership to deliver better outcomes for patients and communities.

Go to the SEBs for information on:

  • Local training offices known as 'deaneries'
  • Local delivery of GP specialty training
  • Training programme, rotations and posts
  • Educational support
  • Training outcomes
  • Working in general practice
  • Primary Care Networks
  • Recruitment and retention initiatives
  • International recruitment support
  • Help with visas

Visit the National Health Service England (NHSE) website

Visit the NHS Education for Scotland (NES) website

Visit the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA) website

Visit the Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) website

About the writers

The GPSA team provides specialist knowledge on GP training and registration, and assesses all applications to the GMC’s GP Register.